Writ­ers fail to pro­mote ben­e­fits of mar­i­juana use

The Buffalo News - - OPIINION -

A spate of op-eds and let­ters to The Buf­falo News have re­cently de­cried the dan­gers of mar­i­juana. Most of them men­tion the pos­si­bil­ity that the stuff will fall into the hands of chil­dren and cite the po­ten­tial for health prob­lems.

What the writ­ers fail to note is that mar­i­juana is al­ready read­ily avail­able to kids, and as early as ele­men­tary school.

Writ­ers also fail to note that in or­der to ob­tain mar­i­juana, kids must break state and fed­eral laws and buy it from peers or drug deal­ers, many of whom in­ten­tion­ally pro­mote hard drug use.

Il­le­gally ob­tained mar­i­juana may be con­tam­i­nated with her­bi­cides, syn­thet­ics, or other harm­ful sub­stances. Any dan­gers to health are mag­ni­fied due to such contamination. Le­gal­iza­tion and reg­u­la­tion of mar­i­juana for adult use makes sense when one con­sid­ers the risks in pur­chas­ing it from sources that are un­re­li­able and po­ten­tially unscrupulous.

Le­gal­iza­tion will per­mit po­lice to at­tend to more se­ri­ous mat­ters while bring­ing in much-needed tax dol­lars. Reg­u­la­tion will en­sure prod­uct pu­rity and qual­ity, and will un­der­mine what is now a thriv­ing and crim­i­nal black mar­ket.

As a re­sult, and im­por­tantly, chil­dren and youth will likely find mar­i­juana far more dif­fi­cult to ob­tain than they do at the present time.

And, mar­i­juana has been

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